Most people when they hear the name Chuck Hughes think of the passionate, French Canadian chef, TV personality and co-owner of top Montreal restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner. What they may not know is that he is on a mission to help reduce unnecessary food waste in all Canadian homes.
According to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, approximately 13 million tons of food is wasted in Canada per year. Every year that amounts to approximately $31 billion dollars’ worth of good food wasted. The majority of that comes from our own kitchens. Where does all this waste go? In our landfills and our oceans. I sat down with Chuck and got the lowdown on Stop Food Waste Day and why it’s important to show Canadians how they can make a difference.
What motivated you to join this movement and be a part of Stop Food Waste Day?
Working and owning restaurants, you always make a conscious effort to use as much of an ingredient as you can in your dishes to reduce waste. Then, you realize the impact just doesn’t end at work, you need to make an effort at home as well. I have young kids and it’s important to start the conversation when they are young and how they, themselves can make better decisions for the environment. Shop local. Buy food in season. Eat less meat. I actually make them a lentil bolognese that they love. We all need to take responsibility for future generations. Stop Food Waste Day starts that conversation.
What are some changes that every person can make in their daily lives to help make a difference?
Well, it really just comes down to making smarter decisions. You can make grocery lists when you shop. Don’t buy items in bulk, as they can become wasted more easily. You can create great meals from leftovers so nothing is wasted. What I love about my partnership with LG Canada is their Smart Cooling Plus technology that they have to help keep food fresher for longer. Instead of making just one dish, you can re-purpose food for your family – fresher food means less waste.
What is one of your favourite recipes to use to help reduce food waste on a weekly basis?
There are tons you can do you reduce food waste. One of my favourite recipes is a classic Sunday dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables. Instead of just using chicken breasts, it’s really easy to prepare a whole chicken. You can boil down the remaining meat into a stock and make it into a chicken pot pie. This way, you are really utilizing the whole chicken. We have some great videos in our 7 part series to stay waste free and well-fed. You don’t need to sacrifice delicious meals for ethical food choices.
Chef Chuck Hughes will be showcasing videos with LG Canada and sharing culinary tips on a weekly basis for all Canadians to use to reduce waste at home. Go to www.LG.ca/ContinuousKitchen to learn more.